Have you gotten started on your holiday baking yet?
Typically, you’ll find me knee deep in butter and sugar around this time of year but between the holiday parties and a rather active dating life (shocking, I know) I haven’t had time. And, to be honest, I miss it. You see, I am that girl who wishes for nothing more than to spend an entire wintery day in the kitchen making the craziest, sweetest concoctions ever. Can we flashback to last year when I literally shared a recipe almost everyday? Yeah, that was nuts. But fun at the same time.
While I may not be baking like crazy for the holidays, I fully plan on doing my traditional cookie baking session once I get back to California. Once I get those, I’ll share them with you all. I’ve got a few new favorites that I can’t wait to test out, along with my favorite classic recipes like Snickerdoodles, sugar cookies, gingerbread men and shortbread.
This time though, I have a holiday favorite, cheesecake. Not just any cheesecake. No, it’s a keeper.
What makes this cheesecake so great are its layers. First you have a pastry dough bottom that acts much like a pie crust. Then you have a slightly spiced cream cheese layer. THEN you have a sour cream topping. Originally posted on Bon Appetit, this Chai-Spiced Cheesecake is everything you’d wish for in a holiday dessert. I mean, you can’t really go wrong with that, right? So glad we are on the same page.
I won’t lie – this recipe requires a lot of work, counter space and time. This is not a “throw together at the last minute” kind of dessert. I would definitely make the dough two days in advance, freeze it, than make the filling the night before. Bake the cake then let it cool overnight. Most cheesecakes need a good 24 hours in the fridge and I even go further by putting it in the freezer for 4-5 hours.
But, that being said, this cheesecake totally deserves to be made. It not only impressed my friends but my not-dessert-fans family. You could add a dollop of chocolate on top, if you are really getting fancy too. And since I had extra batter leftover, I filled a few greased muffin tins with cheesecake batter. Hello snack-sized pieces of heaven.
- Nonstick vegetable oil spray
- 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1 large egg yolk
- 1/4 cup minced crystallized ginger
- 4 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, room temperature
- 1 1/4 cups sugar
- 1 (8-ounce) container mascarpone cheese (Italian cream cheese)
- 5 large eggs
- 2 large egg yolks
- 2 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
- 2 1/2 teaspoons ground cardamom
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 1/3 cups sour cream
- 3 tablespoons sugar
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- For the Crust:
- Spray 9-inch-diameter springform pan with 3-inch-high sides with nonstick spray. Sift flour, ginger, and salt into medium bowl. Using electric mixer, beat butter and sugar in another medium bowl until blended. Beat in egg yolk, then flour mixture. Stir in crystallized ginger. Gather dough into ball; flatten into disk. Roll out on floured surface to 9-inch round. Transfer to prepared pan. Press onto bottom and 1 inch up sides of pan; pierce all over with fork. Freeze 30 minutes.
- Position rack in center of oven and preheat to 350°F. Line crust with foil; fill with dried beans or pie weights. Bake until set, about 30 minutes. Remove foil and beans. Bake crust until golden brown and cooked through, about 20 minutes. Cool crust completely on rack.
- For the filling:
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Using electric mixer, beat cream cheese and sugar in large bowl until smooth, about 3 minutes. Add mascarpone; beat until smooth. Beat in whole eggs, 1 at a time, then beat in yolks. Add next 6 ingredients; beat until blended. Transfer filling to cooled crust in pan; smooth top.
- Bake cake 1 hour. Reduce oven temperature to 200°F. Continue baking until cake is set around edges but center moves slightly when pan is gently shaken (top of cake may crack), about 30 minutes longer.
- Remove cake from oven. Increase oven temperature to 350°F.
- For the topping:
- Whisk all ingredients in small bowl; spread evenly over top of cake. Bake until set, about 10 minutes. Run small knife around cake sides. Chill uncovered overnight. DO AHEAD Can be made 2 days ahead. Chill until cold, then cover and keep chilled.
- Remove pan sides. Transfer cake to platter. Cut into wedges and serve.
Originally posted on Bon Appetit